Chisel Tray-Part 1

Well, it’s not quite as hot, but the humidity is still hanging on.  An hour at a stretch is about all I can take.  I know what the next project will be, but I’m struggling with the design.  So I’ve been looking over the shop and evaluating my current setup.  It has been just about a year since I moved into the new shop and I’ve built a few projects in it.  So a review of what is working and what is not is in order.

In general most things are working “as is”.  I need to work out some sort of clamp storage though.  I think I have had them on or under just about every surface.  My other issue is that I tend to end up with my chisels strung all over the bench while working on a project.  It is just a matter of time before one of them ends up getting knocked to the floor.  Not a welcome thought.  So I decided that a chisel tray of some type would be in order.  Plus it will help me in my quest to shrink the scrap pile.

The first step was to lay out my chisels on a piece of paper to determine the best arrangement for what I had in mind.  Beyond protecting my chisels, I want to be able to easily remove and replace each chisel.  If I don’t satisfy that latter goal, it will be just a matter of time before I’m back to plopping chisels on the bench top.


The basic construction will be based upon a Japanese toolbox.  A basic box with a sliding lid.  The outer frame will be from 1/2″ pine and joined at the corners with a simple pegged finger joint.  The interior will be built up piece by piece and those pieces will be held in place with a combination of glue and pegs.



It seemed appropriate to tune up my Japanese planes and use them to build this project.  Plus I have something else in mind for them.  More on that later.


That’s about all of the humidity I could take for the day.  I’ll plug away at this chisel tray during the week.

Greg Merritt

Posted in Chisel Tray | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Incense Burner Stand-Part 2-Complete

Not a whole lot to add to the story here.  I simply added a coat of Tried and True Original to the stand as per the instructions on the can.  That’s about all there is to it.  I’ll add a maintenance coat in a few months or so.



This is a super simple little project.  The frame is decorative only and has no structural value.  With the feet inset and attached directly to the underside of the panel, any weight on the stand is born directly by the panel and feet.  I’m using this stand for my incense burner, but it could be pressed into service for just about anything.  The size and shape can be altered to meet the need.  Plus it’s a great way to use up some scraps!

Part 1 Greg Merritt

Posted in Incense Burner Stand | Tagged | 7 Comments

Incense Burner Stand-Part 1

Our sense of smell is a powerful thing.  Pleasant smells have the power to alter our mood.  Some smells bring back memories.  I’ve even read that the smell of fresh baked cookies can help to sell a house.  Unpleasant odors can be just as powerful.  I’ll not go into examples, I’m sure you know what I mean. Continue reading

Posted in Incense Burner Stand | Tagged | 9 Comments

Seizing Inspiration when it Presents

I make things.   Not to earn a living.  Not because I have to.  I make things because I want to and to satisfy a deep-seated desire to create.  I tend to make things that have a practical use, it is just my nature.  In fact, I find it very difficult to create something solely for artistic value.  Sure, I tend to add “artistic” touches to the things that I make, but decorative embellishment is quite different than art for art’s sake. Continue reading

Posted in Craft-Art | Tagged | 10 Comments

Tenugui Hanger Revisit

tenugui_holder-000The weather here has been unbearable. Several days in a row the heat index went over 100F.  Having temperatures in the 90’s is tough but doable.  However, when you factor in humidity levels in the high 60% to above 70%, conditions are just too much for working in an unconditioned space.  So not much has been happening here on the woodworking front.  I have fought the good fight though.  Working for 15-20 minutes right after work just to get my fix in.  This limited time means that the project has to be simple. Continue reading

Posted in Tenugui Hanger | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments


I’ll probably get myself in trouble with this one.  I’ve not formally studied design nor Japanese philosophy, but here goes anyway.

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese design element/philosophy that essentially finds beauty in the imperfections of an object.  Those imperfections can be a result of use or result from the making of the object.  At first blush, this sounds like a great excuse to be sloppy in your work.  It’s not quite that simple though. Continue reading

Posted in Design, Thoughts-Views | Tagged | 15 Comments

Tenugui Hanger-Design Drawing

Just a quick followup to my posts on the tenugui hanger.  Mostly for my own record keeping, but there is the off chance that someone out there may want to make one of these for themselves.  Anyway, I worked up a drawing for the making of my tenugui hanger.


One thing to note…tenugui are mostly a standard width (330mm), although they do vary.  The point is that this layout should accommodate just about any standard tenugui, but you may want to verify fit before building anything.

Greg Merritt

Posted in Design, Illustrating, Tenugui Hanger | Tagged , | 1 Comment